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Monday, 26 April 2010

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Wall Street ends a buoyant week

US stock markets rounded out a week full of gains on Friday as positive first quarter earnings reports pushed the Dow past 11,200 points and confidence in the economic recovery grew.

Markets shrugged off the previous weeks worries about fraud charges against Goldman Sachs, helped out of the rut by a slew of stellar corporate earnings.


A Pakistani stockbroker talks to a client as he trades at a trading session at the Karachi Stock Exchange (KSE) on April 23. The benchmark KSE-100 index was 10593.03, down 22.12 points in the morning session on Friday. AFP

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose over 180 points in the week finishing Friday at 11,204.28.

The tech-rich Nasdaq also broke through a symbolic barrier, ending the week at 2,530.15.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 broke through the 1,200 mark to reach 1,217.28 on Friday. “The Dow closed on its highs for the year, and finished higher for its eighth consecutive week” said analysts at Briefing.com.

The banking sector fared well, with Citigroup setting the tone on Monday as it announced a return to profit.

The US banking giant posted a profit of 4.4 billion dollars in the first quarter.

That was swiftly followed by news that Goldman Sachs posted surging first quarter profits of 3.46 billion dollars, doubling its profit of one year ago, even as it faced a US government probe into its role in the US financial meltdown.

The good news kept rolling on Wednesday when Morgan Stanley reported a profit of 1.8 billion dollars, reversing losses of a year ago as it strode further away from the brink.

“Financial markets, in general, had a solid week, as economic reports for March rolled in on the positive side,” said Nigel Gault of IHS Global Insight.

Among the Nasdaq-listed stocks, Apple stole the show, ending the week at 270 dollars a share, versus 244 at the beginning of the week.

Apple on Tuesday proclaimed its best non-holiday quarter on record after nearly doubling its profit on “staggering” sales of iPhones and seeing legions converting to Macintosh computers.

Yahoo! meanwhile said its quarterly net profit more than doubled that of a year ago and said it expected its share of the Web search market to improve after months of decline.

Yahoo! said first-quarter net profit rose to 310 million dollars from 118 million in the corresponding quarter a year ago.

The positive earnings were backed by further signs that the economic recovery is gaining traction.

Sales of newly constructed single-family houses in the United States shot up by nearly 27 percent in March compared to the previous month, official estimates released Friday showed.

AFP

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